* HSI +1.1 pct, H-shares +1.9 pct, CSI300 +0.1 pct
* China cash rates creep higher ahead of Lunar New Year
* Chinese bank, Internet sectors lead rebound
* Weigao Group plummets after profit warning
By Clement Tan
Jan 29 Hong Kong shares rebounded from a
five-month low early on Wednesday, tracking a global rally after
a big hike in Turkish interest rates halted a sell-off in
emerging markets for now as investors covered short positions in
the hardest hit counters.
Mainland Chinese markets underperformed as short-term cash
rates crept higher ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday that
starts Friday. Traders also said the Chinese central bank was
likely to stand pat at Thursday's open market operations.
At midday, the CSI300 of the biggest Shanghai and
Shenzhen A-share listings was up 0.1 percent, while the Shanghai
Composite Index inched up 0.3 percent in lackluster
The Hang Seng Index climbed 1.1 percent to 22,191.2
points, while the China Enterprises Index of the leading
offshore Chinese listings in Hong Kong spiked 1.9 percent. Both
closed on Tuesday at their lowest since August.
Gains helped pare a stiff sell-off in the previous four
sessions that shaved about 5 percent off the benchmark indexes.
Traders said investors in Hong Kong also covered bearish index
bets ahead of futures settlement at market close on Wednesday.
Hong Kong markets will trade for half a day on Thursday
before shutting Friday to Monday for the Lunar New Year, while
mainland China is closed for a week from Friday.
"It's still not quite time to bargain hunt yet. We may get a
bounce but overall, China's economy is slowing down much more
than people's expectations," said Francis Cheung, CLSA's chief
Hong Kong-China strategist.
A preliminary private survey released last Thursday partly
precipitated the emerging market sell-off after it pointed to
the first contraction in China's factory sector activity in
January for the first time in six months.
The final survey reading conducted by HSBC and Markit
Economics will be released on Thursday, with Beijing due to
release its official manufacturing purchasing managers' index
(PMI) on Feb. 1.
On Wednesday, the Chinese banking sector was among the
leading index boosts, with most counters jumping more than 3
percent. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China H-shares
spiked 3.6 percent.
Hengan International, languishing at 5-1/2-month
lows before Wednesday after slumping more than 12 percent in
five sessions, spiked 7.7 percent.
Investors again poured into the Chinese technology sector on
perceived earnings visibility. Tencent jumped 4.6
percent, recovering losses from the recent sell-off. Lenovo
soared 5.7 percent to near its highest in almost 14
Shandong Weigao Group Medical Polymer tumbled
nearly 8 percent after the company said it expects a significant
decline in 2013 profit from the year earlier.
Turkey followed India by tightening policy at a midnight
meeting of its central bank, with a huge hike of 425 basis
points taking the overnight lending rate all the way to 12
More emerging market central banks are expected to take
steps to quell a mix of inflationary pressures at home and a
flight of capital abroad.
South Africa's central bank holds its policy meeting on
Wednesday, with markets also eagerly awaiting the outcome of a
two-day U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting later in the day at
which it is expected to trim its asset buying programme by
another $10 billion a month.